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tv   The Stream  Al Jazeera  March 27, 2014 2:30am-3:01am EDT

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you're in "the stream." narendra modi, is poised to become india's news prime minister. what would this mean to the world's largest democracy ? lisa fletcher is way on vacation, but we've
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got my man on. >> he's a twitter rock star. >> 3 million followers? >> close, 3.6 million twitter followers. and one thing about his supporters waj is they all wear these masks as well. we found a lot of these masks on twitter today. this is a recent picture of a rally that he spoke at. as with any politician that's controversial, there are contrary ian. s, so waj, controversial, we're going to get into this. people are tweeting from india, indian americans, are it's a pretty hot
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topic. >> keep tweeting to my man julio, bjp are enjoys wide support for his l experience, more than a thousand people were killed in the state of gudged, you gina gfnlt gujarat. the can electoral victory mean for india and u.s. indian relations? we are being joined bien sadanand
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dhume, zahir janmohamed, and suhag shukla and sunny hundal. thank you all for joining us what should be a hot show. sadanand, straight up, do you think modi is a good prime minister? >> yes but a qualified yes. yes if he fulfills his promise of putting india on back on the track, and post riots, good on law and order and managed to isolate some of the fundamentalist party. i think it is's good to raise them. i think these are concerns we need to keep on the inform front. i'm hopeful that we are going
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osee the better side of modi, but there is a question mark and only something we know as things play out. >> joining us from india. you witnessed, the 2002 riots, you lived with the community. modi had about 78% of the popularity, the public is supporting him. if modi wins as prime minister, should the united states still uphold its ban against him? >> if modi wins, he'll get what automatically known as a a-1 visa, thing u.s. ambassador met with moid modi, modi still has o apologize for 2002 riots, many of the victims are still living in these camps this have now been there for 12 years. many muslims are very neeferl about th
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feerve fearfulabout the rise of modi. i see the way that modi has governed where journalists, civil society groups, many people are afraid to criticize modi. he has led with a very muscular stiel. style. he has bragged about his chest size. >> i saw smirking there, i'm assuming you're against the modi ban. >> i am, and it's not necessarily from a stance of being pro-modi or anti-modi but comes more from an american perspective the way the united states applies its laws. this is a small clause of the international religious freedom act, it has only been enacted once to deny narendra
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visa. there are a number of countries where religious freedom is definitely in question for religious minorities yet the united states continue to engage leaders from countries like china. this is a poor move by the united states. >> what does the network say? >> e >> e >> eliza says, he should be denied the visa for the pogrom. then ari says, absolutely not, when modi talks about development, he talks about development for all indians, and finally 786 says india is a secular
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democracy, modi espouses only the religious philosopher to be prominent. my question for sunny, we talk about modi's promise for democracy. do you feel that's achievable? >> i think it's tricky certainly because as you said, modi is a part of the bjp and the bjp is part of a group called the sunp sunparavar. traditionally seen as muslims and christians as outsiders in india. after 2002 modi went around and kept saying gujarat riots never even happened. he's responsible for the police not stopping the riots and he even appointed a woman in his
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cabinet who was later on convicted as one of the key instigators of the riot. she was actually found handing out weapons to people and asking them to go kill muslims. >> if i could interject in terms of getting facts straight. the supreme court of india not sponsored by the state of gujarat, but run by the congress party the ruling party set up a special investigation team and away ha what you're saying is not in line of what the supreme court is saying. >> i didn't actually say that he was convicted by any supreme court. the supreme court is not ruled by the congress party in any case but -- >> sure but -- >> what i said was he actually appointed people to his cabinet, people who had been convictlater on of handing out weaponry later on.
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>> despite his history he is still so popular. specifically supporters argue he's charismati charismatic desg only 5% of india's population, are you convince modi will transform l india's economy? >> that's a good question. listen if you want to focus this very, very narrowly on the question of muslims, that's an important question. but that's about 12% of india's population. if that's your own metric for measuring be narendra modi's fitness for being prime minister, he's unfit. why do 75% of the people of india like him? why has his approval rating gone from the low single digits to where it is today? because he has a record of running -- could you let me finish? it's because he has a record of running
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gujarat efficiently, it's the most business friendly state in india and because of his very own story. this is a very hire hierarchical society. you have to be engaged with the fact that four out of fiven indians have a very high regard for this owner pen. >> and zahir how do you explain the fact that there are muslims in india supporting modi? >> i think it's a small minority. probably only about mu muslims would vote for the bjp, one of them is for fear. my physician, his clinic was burned down as was his wife. the congress was guilty of
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riots, the congress party, he'll vote for his safety, for bjp. some will vote for economic benefits. but just to add to something that sadanand had said, modi deserves credit for, i do think there's other concerns about modi as well in addition to just minority issues. modi is somebody as other politicians in india as well has unwilling to be questioned. he backed occupy of a facebook event because he couldn't clear some of the questions in advance. he is -- i think he has a lot of people fearful about how kind of leader he'll be for india. that's what ramhu talks about. the author of -- >> go for it. >> i'd just like to challengen ada
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here, we haven't seen a mass exodus of muslims from the state. 30% of the muslims in gujarat cmtion, he has been reelected, all (g) youjarat [simultaneous speech] >> go ahead. >> step in with two things. first of all, i'm not saying a modi ministership would be bad for all muslims. if that's the only issue on which you'll base whether someone is a good prime minister candidate or not, we don't know how he good he is going to be as prime minister, this is not his strong point. he has other strong points. most of india is not ruled by narendra modi. the polls show it's not 8%, the poms show it's 12%.
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basically, one out of eight people support modi. they are people all over they have no fear of the chief minister of gujarat. >> before let's get community in. >> let's hear a couple before we go to break. hamid questions how many, are they an unnatural amount? samid says, large number of muslims do knot see him inclusive of his policy, it is not a healthy percents. >> coming up next, we're going odebate what the election would mean for global security as well as global economies. >> we have to move out of here right now >> i think we have a problem... >> we have to get out of here... >> they're telling that they they don't wanna show what's really going on... >> mr. drumfield, i'd like to speak to you for a minute... >> this is where columbia's war
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continues... >> ...still occupied... >> police have arrived... you see the blast scars from a bomb that went off...
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,
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>> welcome back.we're talking ad states indian relations as controversial politician are narendra modi is set to become india's next prime minister. the defining partnership of the 21st century. how will modi as prime minister of india affect united states relationship with india? >> that's a difficult question because you know one thing about modi is there's a lot of white washing going on about his economic record too. there was a big story in forbes magazine talking about how he was actually pushing his own friends and giving them big breaks, economic breaks to set up factories to buy land and
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drive poor people out of their land. so i think if forbes magazine is criticizing you for crony capitalism it sets something about your economic record. between the united states and india i certainly see a lot more trade and i certainly see better economic ties. but i also think that you know india is going through a massive economic change and one of the things that's going to happen is modi will simply increase economic inequality in india and will be more social unrest as a result of that. so while you're going osee possibly better relations between obama and you india and modi, but that said, you know, i can't really say that that's nevertheless going to be true. remember that bush didn't really like the fact that the last bjp prime minister sort of liked nuclear weapons.
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it's sort of how modi works with pakistan. >> i'll get you in in a minute. sunny. >> just on facts i'm very sorry. nuclear tests in india was 1998. be nucialg tesnuclear tests hado with bush. that was clinton, at least get your facts right. that was clinton. right. it was bill clinton. it was bill clinton. bush had very strong relation he with the bjp. i think it's -- relations with the bjp. i would argue that this is going to be a testing time. we're going to have to figure out a way where there's this estrangement with the most powerful politician in india if he becomes prime minister. off that the strongest leg is the economic leg because american businesses have
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invested in you can gujarat, had good -- in gujarat, generally speakinspeaking the internationl investor community still india, right, this is not singapore where everything works perfectly. by and large, they say gujarat is one of the easier places to do business. he has a good economic record. debt. there are going to be hiccups but the strongest component of that will be the economic component. >> the community is being heard. >> the $100 billion trade agreement, there are founder million indians living in the united states. modi knows the specifics very well, talking about the indian american community, my question first for suhag about the indian
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american community and the implication of an election and what are the economic implications for that community? >> well, certainly and i think number is 3 million according to the last census. but that said, you know, these are relatives. these are families. you obviously want your country of ager to do well economically. and there's a number of indian-americans who are doing well in business here. if it's easier to do business in india certainly that's going to open doors and maybe have people actually utilize those doors if it is easier. and by what sadanand has said also, in gujarat, you do layer doing business in gujarat is easier. if modi is going to replicate this at the national level and the states involved i foresee given from his experience kind of a decentralized approach in which states are going to have greater autonomy to deal with
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trade internationally. >> zahir i want to get you into this conversation. ing india, in between pakistan and bangladesh, with modi, if he becomes the next prime minister, how will this effect policy, especially with pakistan and achg afghanistan and bangladesh? >> it remains to be seen how modi will be with pakistan. modi to his credit has not been as communal in his speeches over the last let's say year and a half in terms of when he's been campaigning. and recently, a very prominent muslim writer, m.j. akbur just joined the bjp. there may be signs that a bjp power that would come to power in may might be different. we might see bjp 2.0 et cetera.
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at least in my interviews with people on this issue, there's still a lot of nervousness tharn nervousnessaround this issue. just because india has the world's second largest population, uncertain about what narendra modi and india will be like. in terms of pakistan, i think sadanand might be better at answering that question. but i know living in gujarat, there is this very -- modi has oftentimes conflated the issue of india muslims and pakistan. i wanted to add one thing. when du hag suhag mentioned, even though conditions might be bad, where are people going ogo. leaving your state. >> you know but -- >> we're going to bring it up in
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the next-- we're going to bring the.after commercial. should the united states forget the past and turn a new page with modi or should that relationship come with conditions and certain expectations? being tweet julio your are >> al jazeera america presents a global finacial powerhouse >> the roman catholic church, they have an enormous amount of power >> accusations of corruption... >> there is a portion of the budget that takes care of all the clerical abuse issues. >> now we follow the money and take you inside the vatican's financial empire. >> when it comes to money, this is one of the sloppiest organizations on earth... >> al jazeera america presents... holy money only on al jazeera america
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perspectives on every issue. al jazeera america. >> welcome back. we're talking about u.s.-indian relations. talking about a hot show our community is jumping. >> just before we close.
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afshanstans, there's a trending hashtag, aren't we forgetting that modi was behind the gujarat carnage? he doesn't resonate with me in any way. and then arinat says , in do u.s. relations will do better. indians first, we have to grow india first and we don't care about u.s. indian relations. >> yo talking about u.s. indian relations, do we reestablish our relations with modi, start fresh or do you think there needs to be some sorts of conditions to make sure that minority communities are protected? >> i think most basic thing over here is do you respect the democratic institutions of the not? if you
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respect the democratic institutions of indian india or not? if it goes to a higher court and it's overturned maybe you can have a re-think but for now it's very clear that the indian system which is a democratic system has cleared this person of any legal culpability for 2002. the second thing is that this is a very important country for united states. united states has great interest in -- great convicting in that state in asia. you cannot be a world today where our ties with china are frayed, and ties with russia are frayed. a strong relationship with anybody who is prime minister in india. if that person happens to be be narendra modi, that vital interest does not change. >> sunny i want you to jump in. >> i think the united states has
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to have a fairly you know consistent -- it doesn't obviously, as said saudi arabian government, what i don't want is indianse indians lie myself, there are it's okay, it is not okay, we have idea yoa videos of modi saying it never happened. what's also not okay is to say that he's been great for india economically or great for gujarat economically. what he's done is been a capitalist, helped those people do well, fine, gujarat has done well.
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>> suhag give us a narrative that's optimistic and hopeful moving forward. how can indian ex-pats and the diaspora move forward in a modi led india? >> i think we need to look at gujarat and see the successes that have occurred there. we can say that it's been white washed -- >> keep going, go ahead. >> and zahir talking about ghettos, ghettos have been there since independence. i'm not saying that's right. we have been able to come to the united states, shed some of the cultural baggage, and come together, whether it's for advocacy for civil rights, fighting against profiling or whatever the case may be. hindu americans have found way -- >> that's all the time we have. i want to thank our guests and our online community for a great conversation. until next time, see us online.
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